Bok-laden Sharks await WP

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 09:42
Large sharks tackle bag.jpg630 Large sharks front row 630

The Sharks will be looking to close out the pool phase of the Currie Cup on a strong note with a Springbok-laden team to host Western Province on Saturday at Kings Park.

The Sharks will be looking to close out the pool phase of the Currie Cup on a strong note with a Springbok-laden team to host Western Province on Saturday at Kings Park.

Province's five-pointer against the Lions last week saw them leap-frog the Sharks into first place on the log, with just a one point buffer separating the teams.

Both teams have secured home semifinals already, but there is even more riding on the outcome of Saturday's match with the winner claiming top spot for the knock-out rounds and the best possible opportunity of hosting the final.

The Sharks' starting line-up has been bolstered by the inclusion of Springboks Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee, with Pat Lambie named on the bench.

Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said that with the expectation of a tight game, given the importance riding on the outcome, discipline and defence are going to be crucial. A lapse here or there could prove to be costly.

"This week our focus is on discipline because that let us down against the Bulls on the weekend and we need to get that right playing a team like Western Province. Another focus will be on defence because Province use the width of the field well, they have some dangerous runners, especially in Cheslin Kolbe and Gio Aplon.

"For both teams it's extremely important to get a home semi and the opportunity to host the final, so I doubt either side will use this week as preparation for the semifinal when so much is at stake," he said.

Everitt said that although they lost to Province at Newlands earlier in the season, this is a completely new challenge with two very different teams.

"If you look at the match we played them down at Newlands earlier in the Currie Cup, it was a game of two halves. We conceded two soft tries in the first half, but purely because they outmuscled us at the breakdown.

"But in the second half we came back, we were way more physical and confrontational and I think we won those aspects of the game. We outscored them in the second half. We are aware of what’s coming this weekend from a physicality point of view," he explained.

After equalling Helgard Muller's record of 142 matches when he played against the Bulls last week, Jacques Botes (named on the bench) will become South Africa’s most capped Currie Cup player ever should he play.

Wiehahn Herbst is also in line for a special milestone, and will play in his 50th Currie Cup game for the Sharks if he comes on as a replacement.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Stephan Lewies, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Louis Ludik.

Date: Saturday, October 12
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 9 9 0 0 43
Blue Bulls 9 7 0 2 34
Western Province 9 6 0 3 30
Free State Cheetahs 9 3 1 5 21
Sharks 9 4 0 5 19
Pumas 9 3 1 5 16
EP Kings 9 2 0 7 12
Griquas 9 1 0 8 8